You are browsing the ‘Arrival Gate’ category:

There are 11 articles in the category.

Google Analytics

Dear Stephanie,

I’ve installed Google Analytics like you suggested and I’m unsure of what analytics are the most important. Which ones should I pay more attention to?

– Kelli S.

Hey Kelli!

Glad you have Google Analytics up and running, even if you aren’t exactly sure what you’re looking for… yet! The data you’re collecting is extremely valuable and the longer the history, the better. Read the rest of this entry »

Logos and Design

Dear Stephanie,

I am redoing my logo but not sure where to start. What are some things I should be thinking about?

– Jessica S.

Hey Jessica!

Congrats on the logo revamp!

My first advice is to make sure you use a professional graphic designer – don’t fall prey to the DIY logo maker sites. Just like travel agents bring their expertise to the table, so do graphic designers. If you can find a local graphic designer, I’d keep it in the community; if not, take a look at, a website where designers compete in design contests for your business. Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile Madness Part 2

Dear Stephanie,

I keep hearing about mobile sites. I already struggle to update my site with posts and deals.  I’m often behind.  Do I need a mobile site and how do I keep that updated?!

– Zoe S. 

Hey Zoe,

Last month we dove into the importance of keeping your site updated and if that wasn’t possible, to convert it to a static site.  This month, we talk about why mobile is important for travel agencies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile Madness

Dear Stephanie,

I keep hearing about mobile sites. I already struggle to keep my posts and deals updated. I’m often behind. Do I need a mobile site and how do I keep that updated?!

– Zoe S.

Hi Zoe,

We’ve got two important subjects to cover from your email and not enough space! I’m going to break this into a two-part series so I can make sure to give the subjects the ink they deserve.

Read the rest of this entry »

Life Beyond Direct Mail

Dear Stephanie,

What else can I do besides direct mail pieces to market my agency?

-Jen E. 

Hi Jen,

While direct mail pieces have the ability to be very effective for certain demographics, there are plenty of other ways to market your agency beyond that.

Before we start, let me just say this is a gargantuan subject to cover so keep in mind this column only discusses the tip of the iceberg. I’m a fan of grassroots marketing so let’s focus on that.

There are two different areas I’d recommend you focus on: in-person networking and the web. Read the rest of this entry »

Long Distance Relationships

Dear Stephanie,

I saw on your site that you don’t need to live in the same state as your host, but is that helpful?

-Kim R.

Hi Kim,

For some agents, it can be very helpful to live in the same state as their host. The problem is, for others, a host in another region may be a better option! Every agent has different needs and, depending on those needs, a local host may or may not be the best fit. Read the rest of this entry »

Sales Quotas: A Good Thing

Dear Stephanie,

Are there hosts out there without sales quotas?  What if something comes up and I take a break?

-Matt C.

Hey Matt,

The simple answer is yes, there are hosts out there without quotas.  However, as usual, I’m going to make the answer more complicated :) Read the rest of this entry »

Brick and Mortar Heads Home

Dear Steph,

I’ve worked at a brick and mortar agency and am now branching off on my own and going home based.  How do I get my phone to ring?


Hey Paula,

Yup. One of the biggest shocks for front line agents when they start their own agency is that suddenly, the phone doesn’t ring on its own!

So, how do you get that darn thing to ring? Read the rest of this entry »

Criminals in Travel?

Dear Stephanie,

A host requested that we give them a background check. Is this normal? Why do they need that info?


Hey Ali,

Rest at ease when your head hits the pillow tonight; your host is being totally legit.

It’s normal for a host to run a background check on people entering their program. In fact, you’ll find hosts that run background checks and credit checks on applicants to their program. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Stephanie,

I would like to start my own travel agency business. Do I have to start working with a host agency?


Hey Dmitriy,

First off, welcome to the travel industry – we love newbies!

The short answer is no, you technically don’t have you to start working with a host agency when you enter the industry.  The typical paths taken if an agency doesn’t work with a host is to align yourself with a consortium/franchise or to go independent.  However, I’m a huge advocate of host agencies and feel they are the best entry point for most agents.  Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry »

What Travel Agents can learn from Car Dealers

Most of us have had the experience of purchasing an automobile from a car dealership. There are certainly many, many aspects of the experience that are good examples of bad examples for anyone seeking to learn something about sales. Too often, the “come-on” is too strong and the sales person inauthentic. What is most obvious, typically, is that the sales person on a car lot is all about the transaction and your needs are secondary.


Car dealers know how to get you to relate to their product, to find your emotional connection to the vehicle. Let’s go for a test drive.

 Americans have a love affair with cars, with the idea of the automobile. Beyond their function of getting us from one place to another, cars are about freedom, independence, and status. We have to find the automobile that is “right” for us that fits Read the rest of this entry »